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West Papua: The Forgotten Pacific Country


West Papua: The Forgotten Pacific Country

The international solidarity movement for West Papua, meeting in Otara, Tamaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (New Zealand) from 8-10 August, calls upon the members of the Pacific Islands Forum to remember the unresolved tragedy of the Pacific people of West Papua when they meet in Auckland later this week.

The movement urges Forum leaders to grant West Papua observer status as a step to resuming its role in Pacific regional affairs, a right denied to the West Papua people for the past forty years.

It welcomes the Forum's previous expressions of concern about the human situation in West Papua, but urges the Forum leaders to take further action in response to the deteriorating situation in the territory and the targeting of human rights defenders.

The solidarity movement calls upon the Forum leaders to send a fact-finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights situation there and to press Forum dialogue partner Indonesia to:-

a) end military operations in West Papua, start the process of de-militarisation and halt the activities of Laskar Jihad and all militia forces;

b) renew efforts to resolve the conflict by peaceful means in accordance with the call by the people of West Papua for their country to be made a Land of Peace;

c) ensure the safety and protection of all human right defenders, enabling them to carry out their activities without intimidation or obstruction;

d) bring to justice those responsible for serious crimes committed in West Papua, including the killing of Papuan leader Theys Eluay in November 2001.

The movement strongly urges the Forum members to condemn the violations against West Papuan women and children as a result of the Indonesian militarisation of the territory. The Forum should resolve to end all forms of military cooperation with Indonesia, including the training of military personnel.

The movement further condemns the systematic destruction of the environment and cultural structures of the West Papuan people, and calls on Forum leaders to address the dire humanitarian situation of West Papuan refugees in Papua New Guinea and to take steps to protect their legal and human rights.

Recognising that the root cause of the human rights problems in West Papua is the fraudulent Act of 'Free' Choice, which was part of an attempt to legitimise the take over of West Papua by Indonesia in 1969, the solidarity movement urges the Forum to support widespread demands for the United Nations to review its conduct at the time and for West Papua to be reinstated on the agenda of the UN Decolonisation Committee.

NB delegates to the conference included people from West Papua, USA, Ireland, Australia, Indonesia, UK, Hong Kong, Fiji, Aotearoa.

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